A federal judge is reaffirming his decision to allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty against a Vermont man charged with abducting, sexually assaulting and killing his 12-year-old niece.
The attorneys for Michael Jacques had asked U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions to reconsider a decision to allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Jacques in the 2008 death of Brooke Bennett of Braintree.
Jacques’ attorneys had argued that because kidnapping is usually a state crime and Vermont has no death penalty, it should not be considered in federal court.
But the Burlington Free Press reports Sessions ruled that such thinking would create geographic disparities in the application of the federal death penalty.
Jacques has pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.